More than a comfort food
This smoky split soup recipe is made even more decadent by adding tofu bacon. This is one of those recipes that I make often and then immediately ask “why don’t I make this more often?”. It’s not that I’m ever in a food doldrums, this soup is so darned good, I just want more of it.
Do split peas need to be soaked?
The answer is no. Just like beans, lentils and grains (especially quinoa) you always want to be sure to give your split peas a good rinse. One hack to try is to fill bowl of water, add your split peas and stir them around a bit. That will loosen any ‘stuff’ you might not want. You also want to look them over in case a few ‘bad’ ones show up. Toss them. They don’t get to attend the party.
In the Netherlands, split pea soup is a traditional New Year’s dish. I’m happy to embrace that tradition with my own plant-based twist. For that matter, this split pea soup recipe is also a twist on my mom’s traditional recipe. I’m certain that if she tried my smoky split pea soup recipe, she’d be adopting a new tradition of her own.
Consistency is a matter of preference
It’s entirely up to you to puree the soup before adding the tofu. As the split peas cook, they will naturally break down and that might be just perfect for you. I usually do a few spins with my immersion blender, leaving it slightly chunky.
It occurred to me that smoky, savory tofu bacon bits and split pea soup are seriously made for each other. Split peas on their own are already substantial, but adding the tofu with its smoky, semi-salty flavor makes this meal-in a bowl something special. If you happen to not be a tofu fan, no worries. You can leave the tofu out. If you still want a smoky flavor, add ¼ teaspoon of liquid smoke.
Denise’s tofu ‘rules’
I have a few personal rules when it comes to tofu. First, you it needs to be pressed. I find it best to cut the tofu into quarters, widthwise. Just put the pieces between two flat plates and then weigh the top down or use a special tofu press if you have it. Second, tofu benefits from marinating at least an hour or even overnight. The longer you allow the marinade to do its work, the better. Finally, my preference is to bake it. You can dry fry it, which is a bit quicker, but in my experience, baked tofu has a firmer texture. You’re only looking at 20 minutes of baking anyhow. That’s enough time to get the soup cooking.
Taking the last step
The last step to finish our smoky split pea soup is simply mixing in the tofu bacon bits. Just stir and get to eating. You might be surprised that your lovely green split peas have turned a bit orange through the cooking and blending process. It’s actually not the peas at all. Those darned carrots will influence the color – especially if you blend your soup.
I like the idea of traditions with respect to their capacity to conjure fond and binding memories, but our moments and our futures can create opportunities to honor our traditions wrapped in new and improved trappings. New memories if you will. Something to ponder while you enjoy the sweet, smoky comfort of split pea soup. Peace.Print
Smoky split pea soup is made even more decadent with tofu bacon. Get your ultimate healthy comfort food here!
- 1 medium onion diced
- 3 carrots diced
- 3 celery stalks diced
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 T rosemary
- 2 cups (450 grams) split peas
- 8 cups water
- 8 oz. smoky tofu bacon
- Prepare the onion, carrots and celery.
- Add the vegetables to a large soup pot and place the vegetables, rosemary and ½ tsp salt.
- Sauté the ingredients over medium heat for 8 minutes (until they are soft). Add water 1 tablespoon at a time if they begin to stick to the bottom of the pan.
- Rinse the split peas and add them, plus the vegetable broth (or water) to the pot.
- Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer, cover and allow the soup to cook for about 2 hours until the split peas are soft and cooked through. Check the pot every 30 minutes or so, stir and add additional water if necessary.
- While the split peas are cooking, prepare the baked smoky tofu bacon.
- When the split peas are done, place half the soup in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.
- Put the pureed soup back in the pot, add the smoky tofu bacon, stir and heat through.
- Adjust the rosemary and or salt after you add the tofu.
- Serve it up.
- If you want a smoky flavor without using tofu, add 1/2 tsp. liquid smoke directly to the soup when you add the spices.
- Tofu can be pressed and marinated overnight before baking.
- The more of the soup you puree, the smoother it is. Make it your own.
- Add lemon juice for a flavor twist.
- Make a double batch – it freezes well.
- Category: Soups
- Method: Stove top
- Cuisine: Plant-based
Keywords: smoky split pea soup